Taste of the Town
Master chef Alberto Morello of Olio & Limon Restaurant prepares samples for the 2018 Taste of the Town benefit event. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)
  • Master chef Alberto Morello of Olio & Limon Restaurant prepares samples for the 2018 Taste of the Town benefit event.
  • Patricia and Guy De Magnion of sponsor The Berry Man.
  • Ralph MacFarlane and sponsor Diana MacFarlane of Diana MacFarlane Premier Lending.
  • Catherine Smith of Lucas & Lewellen.
  • Arthritis Foundation board members Laura Kath, left, John Stampe and Karen Anderson.
  • Emcee Alan Rose, left, with Arthritis Foundation Executive Director Michal Wiesbrock.
  • Silvia Franco Comer and Jean Comer from first-time Taste of the Town purveyor Casa de Comer Salsa.
  • Artist Chris Potter painted the face of his 11-year-old daughter, Zenia.
  • Victoria McGovern, left, from El Fustino Olive Oils with Caryna Fernandez.
  • Justin Charbonneau, left, and Miguel Sanchez represent Temperance Wine from Lompoc.
  • Riviera Park served as the venue for Taste of the Town.
  • The David Tovar Trio performs.

iSociety: Rochelle Rose

The 37th annual Taste of the Town, one of Santa Barbara’s signature culinary events, on Sunday served up a full afternoon of sips, tastings, entertainment and auctions, all to benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

Proceeds will support the programs and services of the Arthritis Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of 53 million people (including nearly 300,000 children) with arthritis through health education, advocacy, research and juvenile arthritis support. More than 50,000 Santa Barbara County residents and children have been diagnosed with one of the 100-plus forms of arthritis.

The Taste of Town was preceded by a kickoff at the BMW Santa Barbara showroom and a sold-out Friday night dinner at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

“I am very involved and committed to advocacy in public policy,” longtime board member Karen Anderson told Noozhawk. “The Arthritis Foundation not only provides services for adults and children with arthritis. For example, we support the renewal of federal legislation, which puts a cap on co-pays for drugs. There are many effective arthritis drugs that are very expensive for patients.”

At the outdoor and tented event, the sold-out crowd of 500 enjoyed unlimited samplings from area restaurants, caterers, wineries, breweries and spirits providers at Riviera Park. Not to be missed was the fun photo booth, plus live jazz by the David Tovar Trio.

This year, awards were presented for Honorary Lead Vintner: Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat; Honorary Chefs: Matt Johnson of San Ysidro Ranch, David Rosner of Monarch at the Montecito Inn, Steven Giles, formerly of the Sage & Onion Cafe and Le Gavroche London, David Cecchini of Cecco Ristorante and Patrick Clark of the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

The Youth Honoree was Shannon Morehouse of Solvang, 12, who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 3. Medical Honoree was Dr. Todd Fearer of the Montecito Geriatric Medical Group.

The fundraiser would not be possible without the participation of generous purveyors. It also showcased established as well as emerging local businesses.

Taste of the Town
Emcee Alan Rose, left, with Arthritis Foundation Executive Director Michal Wiesbrock. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Silvia Franco Comer, co-founder of Casa de Comer Salsa, said: “This is our first year at Taste of Town. It is a great opportunity to showcase our handcrafted salsas, which were developed from my mother’s recipes. My husband, Jean, and I attended UCSB and are excited to offer this new authentic and tasty product to Santa Barbara.”

Catherine Smith, a lab technician at Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards, said, “I recently relocated from the Napa Valley wine county. This event is a great opportunity to get out in the community, support a great cause and learn more about our customers.”

2018 Taste of the Town Santa Barbara sponsors

» AA Expressive

» American Riviera Bank

» Ana’s Balloons

» Archstone Foundation

» Bella Vista Designs

» BlueStar Parking

» BMW Santa Barbara — Official Automotive Sponsor*

» Central Coast Home Health & Hospice

» Cox Communications

» Diana MacFarlane

» Front Porch Communities and Services

» Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

» HUB International — Official Wine Glass Co-Sponsor*

» Jeffery Baldwin and Michal Wiesbrock

» KEYT News Channel 3

» Montecito Bank & Trust

» Opal Restaurant & Bar

» Robert Price and Amye Leong

» Sansum Clinic

» Santa Barbara Independent

» Santa Barbara Vintners Foundation

» Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation

» Senior Planning Services

» Sysco

» Terry Ryken/COMPASS — Official Wine Glass Co-Sponsor*

» The Berry Man, Inc.

» Vista del Monte Retirement Community

» YTS Video

Food and beverage purveyors

» Ca'Dario

» Alexander & Wayne

» Casa de Comer Salsa

» Arthur Earl

» Chefs on a Mission

» Artiste

» Country Meat Market Catering

» Au Bon Climat/Qupe

» Crush Tasting Room & Kitchen

» Barden in Founders

» Enterprise Fish Co.

» Beckmen

» Finch & Fork

» Brander Vineyard

» Flightline

» Caribbean Coffee

» Green Table

» Carr Vineyards & Winery

» High on the Hog Catering

» Cutler's Artisan Spirits

» Il Fustino

» Demetria Estates

» Liliac Patiseriee

» DV8 Cellars

» Michael's Catering

» Falcone Family Vineyards

» Mizza Artisan Pizza

» Gainey

» Opal Restaurant & Bar

» Giessinger Winery

» Pascucci's

» Grassini Family Vineyard

» Santa Barbara Popcorn Company

» Islands Brewing Company

» SBCC Culinary

» Jaffurs

» The Little Door

» Jamie Slone Wines

» The Little Kitchen

» Ken Brown Wines

» The Nook

» Kessler-Haak

» The Nugget Goleta

» Lafond

» The Palace Grill

» Lucas & Lewellen/Toccata

» The Secret Ingredient

» Margerum Wine Company

» Tyger Tyger

» Melville Vineyards & Winery

» Via Maestra 42

» Municipal Winemakers

» Potek Winery

» Presqu'ile

» Press Gang Cellars

» Refugio Ranch

» Roblar

» Samsara Wine Company

» Sanger Winery

» Santa Barbara Winery

» Silver Wines

» Sunstone

» Temperance Cellars

» Tolosa (Alpha Omega Collective)

» Whitcraft Winery

» Zaca Mesa

Click here for more information about the Central Coast Office of the Arthritis Foundation, or contact Michal Wiesbrock at mwiesbrock@arthritis.org or 805.563.4685.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at rrose@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.